tv Talk to Al Jazeera Al Jazeera December 12, 2015 2:30pm-3:01pm EST
because they're preserving history, and an integral part of the region for the next generation. jessica baldwin, al jazeera. oxford. >> more on everything we're covering right here. the dress for that is www.aljazeera.com. do check it out. www.aljazeera.com. most popular books. >> i drop the kids off at school, the other kids saying "hey look! it's... it's... it's his dad! look! has he brought more chocolates?" and you've almost got a following. it's amazing. >> for years he's been tasting chocolate and lots of it, several pounds on sundays. >> i do eat a lot of chocolate. >> but he trys to stay in shape
and watch his diet. >> the average chocolate bar is what, about a hundred calories - let's say two hundred... 10, 20 minutes on a running machine... so when you eat something, i kinda think "how many-- how far do i have to run to equalize"? >> kennedy sheds light about the latest trends in the business. >> a shortage is potential, it's a potential problem. >> and criticizes an industry he says hasn't yet figured out how to best help coco farmers. >> they say "fair trade"? that's no good, i want "free trade" angus. i want free trade, i want to be able to sell my coco beans for my price. >> and if you wanna know if your sweet fix is good, kennedy has the secret. >> it's called a snap test, it's quite simple. you literally take a piece of a chocolate and you break it and you listen. >> plus we discus some of the more bizare ingredients people are adding to the mix. >> i know of a particular company in austria and they'll put in like, fish, bits of pig. >> i spoke with angus kennedy at a family run chocolate factory
in new york. >> you are the man behind one of the most terrifying predictions i have heard in some time. and what is that? >> well, yeah, the-- this is a prediction that-- the world will run out of chocolate by 2020. >> there is some validity--. >> there is. >> to this notion that we may be running out of cocoa? why? >> well, the world isn't gonna run out of cocoa. but-- if you look at the global markets, for example nigeria, south africa-- mexico, india-- and particular china as well-- they are eating a lot less chocolate than we are at the moment over in-- in the us and europe. and if they all act anything like what we do over here, considering their population sizes, then the consumption is gonna go up hugely, you know, 14%, 15%. and then if you look at the amount of cocoa being produced, which is fairly level, there's not much more, there's not much
less and all the threats, then-- a shortage is potential. it's a potential problem. >> well, what-- what is it that makes chocolate so hard to grow, to raise, and to produce? >> it's very susceptible to disease. so you've got the br-- brazil used to be one of the biggest producers of cocoa. now the whole of-- you could imagine, the whole brazilian crop was wiped out by-- a disease called witches' broom. now that's carried by moths, like a pod borer moth. they'll get inside the pods and the tree dies and that's it. so--. >> witches' broom, that sounds very--. >> it's call wi-- yeah. >> sinister. >> i know, yeah, and it is actually, because if you get this pod borer moth somehow getting into the ivory coast, which produces 40% of the world's cocoa, then if the same happens in brazil, then you've got a big problem. >> the concentration of cocoa is there in the ivory coast, there in the middle of africa. there are a lot of factors that make it hard for them to produce more? >> yeah, it's v-- it's very difficult to grow cocoa. it needs a steady rainfall,
susceptible to disease-- it's been-- the-- the farms have been cut down because rubber is being grown. >> while the rest of the world seems to be making a great deal of money, on this chocolate and all these different chocolate products, what about the people who are being left behind? >> oh, yeah. i think there's been about 11 initiatives that have been launched by-- the industry to combat, if you like, the problem of poverty in africa. now one of the recent statistics said that if you put all the profits from the top three, top four global producers, it's still not gonna solve poverty in africa. you've got terrible political problems in the ivory coast, it's quite corrupt, you've got child labor, you've got arms deals going on and cocoa, the money being used, et cetera. so it's-- it-- you know, the-- the-- the chocolate industry has made a mistake by holding itself to blame because of poverty in africa. it's not actually-- they-- they can't solve it because it-- you've got governments, you've
got corruption, you've got things going on like that. so-- it's very sad and the-- the-- the average-- afr-- african farmer will be earning $2 a day, -- not very much. and i know for a fact that-- i have spoken to some farmers and they talk to me quite candidly. i said, you know, what do you want, you know, how-- what about fair trade. they say, fair trade, that's no good, i want free trade, angus. i want free trade, i want to be able to sell my cocoa beans for my price. and that's where the problem is because they can't 'cause it's all-- it's all controlled by government prices and things like that. >> so it's a collective price and they can't negotiate it separately? >> it's a fixed price, yeah. >> now you say that there is some exaggeration that the media might be prone to when talking about the death of chocolate. but the reality of it-- i mean, you are seeing symptoms? >> you are, yeah. >> what's happening out there? what's happening to my chocolate? >> yeah, you-- you are. i mean, if-- if you go into a shop, it's called shrinkflation and it's known well, you go in there and you'll either find
your product bars suddenly got smaller and no one's told you have they, you discover it. or you'll find those inclusions, which is like, almonds, there's nougat, those bits and pieces, it's not chocolate though is it, because the chocolate is the expensive bit. the cheapest bit is the sugar. so you are finding that-- generally as a trend, chocolate's getting sweeter with more bits in it, and it's getting smaller. and that is a definite--. >> it's kind of yucky. >> yeah, yeah. >> for a chocolate connoisseur. >> yeah, it doesn't have so much cocoa butter. so the cocoa butter is what makes chocolate chocolate. it's like the grape of champagne. >> so when i go to the store and i see on the rack, i look at all my favorite chocolates, but now all of a sudden, one of them's being advertised as featuring air, air bubbles-- >> i know. >> air bubbles in my chocolate. >> yeah, and it's less calories. no, it's not, it's less chocolate. so-- so, you know-- there's ways of which the industries is promoting the fact that it's good that you've got a smaller bar. one is the fact that it's less--.
>> that's spin. >> less calories. >> less calories. >> no, it's not, it's less chocolate. higher in antioxidants 'cause it's got almonds and walnuts. no, it's not, it's less chocolate. and they'll just keep going, they'll keep going, they'll try on and on and on. >> the quality of the chocolate that remains--. >> yeah, it's--. >> is often? >> that's very controversial, very controversial. >> you called it sludge. >> yeah, because-- because-- you know, i've-- i've-- i've tried a lot of chocolate, so i've been around the world and-- you know, you try different types of-- of strain of cocoa bean from jamaica, from madagascar, from cameroon, and it's-- you know, it's amazing. it's different flavors. and i think the big conglomerates are trying to make it a globalized taste, which is sweet, so we'll all accept that. it's very cheap, we'll make lots of profit. but-- but of course, you know, they have to make money, which is fair enough. but chocolate can taste amazing. and it doesn't have to, you know, taste like what people think it does taste like. >> like gunk? >> yeah-- a lot of the time, yeah, exactly.
>> you should know because you have eaten as you say, an awful lot of chocolate? >> i have, yeah, and look at the size of me. >> well, you don't like a chocoloholic, but--. >> no, i mean, you know, there's precautions i have to make. you know, i-- you pe--. >> what-- but wait, what's your dre-- i mean, you have the dream job, half of (laugh) the world's--. >> i know. >> certainly children, and a whole lot of adults would say, "angus kennedy--". >> i know. >> has the greatest job in the world." >> no, really. >> what is it? >> you're absolutely right. well, you know, if i drop the kids off at school, the other kids say, "hey, look, it's-- it's-- it's-- it's his dad, look, has brought more chocolates?," and they come up. you-- it's-- it's almost got a following, it's amazing. but we do have a lot of chocolate. i mean, we really do. i mean, the house is full of chocolate, full of sweets everywhere you go, it's, like, everywhere. so-- and-- sometimes i'm a judge. that's-- that's an interesting example. so you have to go around a trade show and from 9:00 til 5:00, you have to taste chocolate all day long. >> how much chocolate do you eat in a day? >> i do eat a lot of chocolate, but then-- i also do a lot of sport and as i've been a
journalist in the food industry for a very long time, i know what goes into my food, i read all the labels. >> but the latest reports that we're seeing in the news are that chocolate, not only dark chocolate, but all chocolate is supposed to be healthy? (laugh) >> was that the latest one? oh, i think i've read about 500 of those. i mean, over-- over 25 years, i've read chocolate is good for you, the latest, about, i don't know, hundreds, hundreds, and hundreds of times. chocolate's good for your skin, good for antioxidants, it's good for this, it's good for your-- oh, hang on, recent one, blood flow, blood flow, think about casanova, he used to take it, blood flow, right. so it's all that story, chocolate and virility and you know. so anything--. >> well, i should point out that you have quite a few children. (laugh) >> yeah, yeah. i like champagne, you mix 'em -- so it kind of works. but--. >> chocolate and champagne--. >> yeah, that--. >> --and the result is? >> five children. i know. but then at least we can feed them with something, you know. (laugh) but no, going back to your point about-- this-- this
sort of chocolate is good for you. well, you know, how many times have we heard, you know, big industries that have put in a lot of money into either such and such reports to make their-- let-- let's say for example, vegetables. have you read something in the paper recently, broccoli's good for you? no, never, you-- 'cause they don't have any money. >> but-- so that's wrong and-- and-- but because so much money goes into this-- yes, elements of it, the 306-- approximately 365 antioxidants that exist. the human body will absorb three. so when it says chocolate's full of antioxidants, it's pointless because-- because actually you co-- you could just have a walnut or, you know, something else, which is very high in antioxidants, and then you don't get the sugar and the fat. >> but you see, i'm a cynic, i've been it for a long time. but i still like chocolate because i know it's-- because-- well, actually, the one-- one reason why i like it is because i know it's probably a little bit bad for me. and i can express myself saying, well-- shut up, i'll-- i'll eat it, you know, because-- because
i'm a free spirit, you know, i want to eat it thank--. >> you just want the honesty of it? you at one point were eating two pounds, three pounds of chocolate a day? >> yeah, i was eating a lot, yeah. >> in your job? >> yeah. yeah. >> which seems like it would have--. >> it-- it did. i mean-- all my teeth are capped, so i've got all those capped. i've had two knee operations because i've been to the gym so much. so-- so what happens is-- well, i can't row now so now i've got a real problem 'cause i can't-- 'cause i can't go to the gym. >> because you're a rower--. >> yeah-yeah. if you look at it, if you look at a chocolate bar, the average chocolate bar is what, 100 calories let's say, 200, 10, 20 minutes on a running machine. so when you eat-- when you eat something, i kinda think, how many-- how far do i have to run to equalize. so it-- it's--. >> and that's how you keep your form even though--. >> it's kind of--. >> you might be.... >> yeah, i'm always thinking, okay, well, what do i got to do-- i-- i need to equalize this 'cause i do want to live to 100, i wouldn't mind, be quite nice. i don't want to-- i-- i generally don't want to be over-- overweight if i can help
it. >> but chocolate has made you a star? >> i think so, yeah. and it's-- it's-- it's so funny because-- whenever-- actually, if you look at it, it is america's favorite flavor, there's eight million people in the uk that eat chocolate every single day. we-- we eat 12 kilograms a year in the uk, it's just-- and then you've got these surveys, it's so funny, you got these surveys in england. and it's, like, 33% of brit-- people in britain, i know it's-- would-- would give up things like alcohol, sex, favorite shoes, it's--. >> just for the chocolate? >> yeah. so it's-- it-- it is a very powerful, magical product. it's more important than politics. >> who eats-- who eats the most chocolate in the world? >> swiss. swiss, germans, british, they're all about sort of 12-- i mean, they would argue with each other, saying, "no, we eat the most," you know. but-- and-- and actually, american people eat about five and a half kilograms, so they're-- they're actually quite conservative about their chocolate eating. >> we're not eating as much chocolate as we should? >> no. half-- half the amount of the british. so-- so you're actually being
really good about it. so-- so-- so, you know, it's not, you know--. >> nevertheless--. >> --it cuts the pricing--. >> --the-- if-- if there is--. >> --so--. >> --a chocolate shortage or if there is (laugh) a limited amount of chocolate or if there is, heaven forbid, the death of chocolate, who's to blame for that? >> well, i think people like me, i guess really, (laugh) you know. we-- it-- it-- chocolate is-- it's got caffeine in it, so it's slightly addictive. and i-- and i think it-- because it tastes so good, we-- we created this amazing substance that, you know, if the aliens came down, they'd say, "we want that," you know, we don't want your water, we want your chocolate, you know, because it is-- it's just one of those things that's really quite-- tastes quite good. but having said that, the uk, germany, switzerland, europe, they're ea-- starting to eat less every year-- so--. >> and now it's the rest of the world--. >> --we seem to be kind of set--. >> --moving in. >> yeah, that's what's happening, india's massive, china, very exciting. so-- so yeah, and-- and that's where the-- kind of the attention of the corporates are looking at, the global companies saying, "wow, look at china, look at south africa, nigeria," that's where they're really
looking-- they're not really looking at us, not anymore. we're not much use-- we are, but the big growth, if you look at the size of the population in china and india, it's enormous-- enormous market, so--. >> and all the people are eating chocolate. >> and-- no, they eat-- one gram a year or something in china. >> so it's the potential? >> it's enormous, enormous. it's far bigger, and if you look at the size of population of little england, you know, s-- a tiny little 70 million, oh, this looks quite good, hmm, 1.3 billion, hmm, that'll do and they only eat one gram, let's do that. (laugh) that's why they don't care if they reduce the size of our products. this is just too big, this market. so that's what's really going on. >> when you go into a company like this that we're visiting today, this is-- is the future of chocolate making? >> yeah, i mean-- yeah, this-- you know my job is to go around factories all the-- e-- all the time, so i-- i go around lots and lots of factories. and you see many factories like this sort of come up from grassroots, from grandparents. if you look at the history of this business, what
happened in the war and how they survived and they survived the hurricane, if they survive that, they'll survive anything. they-- they-- they-- they got nice products as well, you know, very, very good chocolate. and they know their market. >> so this is the kind of chocolate-- is this chocolate the same year to year, decade to decade? >> from-- from--. >> or are our tastes in chocolate also--. changing? >> tastes are changing 'cause people are traveling. so--for example-- you know, people will go to the caribbean or something and they'll think, oh, jamaica, that's a cool place. and then someone else will have an origin chocolate with jamaica so what-- what they're trying to do-- there's a company that launched something called wi-- called chocolate flights, it was like wine flights, so they were saying, okay, you have this chocolate before your meal, like an aperitif, then you have this one sort of halfway through, and then you have this one. and they-- they called it, like, this experience, they're trying to make it so that you become a real connoisseur. and even though we're eating less chocolate in europe, they're making much more money because the price has gone up, because the high-end market, people are prepared to spend-- i
mean, i-- i've been around chocolate boutiques, but don't call them shops, you don't mention the word shop, it's like a gallery, you know. and you go in there and you can see, like, this massive sort of bronze lion or something ridiculous, you know. and you start to think, where's the chocolate and then you see a spotlight, oh, yeah, okay, and you see it again. >> and you sort of go to the back of the shop somewhere (laugh) and you'll find the chocolate, you know. and honestly, you're stepping over homeless people to get into the shop and you've got a chocolate in there and for one-- for one small box, about nine chocolates is about 100 euros, which is about $150, it's like 10 pounds per truffle. it's just-- so-- so the sky's the limit. i mean, the-- you know, they can-- they-- they want to get into this area where they can charge a very high price so it's a very exclusive market. and that's coming. that's coming. it already has. >> you were born into chocolate? >> i was born into chocolate. i mean, literally-- my family, my father, you kw, they came back from these tradeshows in germany with-- with, you know, ford cortinas, older 1970s cars
full of chocolate, i mean, literally, and i'd run out. but it-- it wasn't--. >> what chocolate were they full of? >> oh, it's, like-- just-- just chocolate from--. >> chocolate balls--. >> --turkish delights, bubblegums, gobstoppers, you know. and for me, i was a kid who was failing all his exams, but i was, like, number one at school, you know, i'll swap your gobstopper for a nice parker pen. so that's kinda where i started to trade and learn and learn about human instincts and things, you know, it was all from chocolate. so my whole life has been rescued literally by candy, so you're absolutely right, i owe my life to chocolate. >> your father started out with--. >> yeah, so we-- we come from a sort of family of writers and artists. so-- (clears throat) i went to art school and-- we-- we had this crazy family-- i mean, literally crazy. my mother was a drinker, so when i had time to have a conversation with her, you know, so i was literally kind of saving the house from one disaster to the other, you know. so if the dogs would run to the postbox, eat the chocolates, so i'd try and get to it first
'cause (beep) all these samples would come. and it was just-- it wasn't really until kind of later, i realized that the life i had was really quite unusual. but it-- but i did enjoy it. and i don't have-- it's not like a sort of sad story, i-- it-- it kind of made me who i am. >> but-- but just to--. >> so--. >> --dig through it, i mean, your father was writing this chocolate--. >> yeah, so--. >> --confectionary journal? >> journal, exactly, and so was my mother, so--. >> and so was your mother. and then you--. >> and then--. >> --grew up and became--. >> --in this--. >> --a writer--. >> --office of--. >> for it? >> -candies and-- and-- because they-- they used to have to write about candies and products so the whole office was full of candy. the offi-- it wasn't an office, it was like a shed in the garden, by the way. (laugh) so-- so yeah-- so the family was just involved in the industry, so i know people in the industry going back, i know the grandfa-- parents. so i was kind of like this little charlie, if you like, you know, saying--. >> the little charlie in this chocolate factory. >> exactly, saying, "don't pinch me because i don't want this dream to end." and, you know, i'm still saying that now, you know. >> is there something about you that qualifies you to be (laugh) in the world's best job and not
say me? >> no, not at all. that-- that's why it's so funny, because i'm so cynical. it's, like-- you know, if you look at-- well, if you look at people running countries, what the hell are they doing there? >> coming up on "talk to aljazeera": the "chocolate snap", testing tips you should know about. >> every monday night. >> i lived that character. >> go one on one with america's movers and shakers. >> we will be able to see change. >> gripping... inspiring... entertaining. no topic off limits. >> 'cause i'm like, "dad, there are hookers in this house". >> exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. >> these are very vivid, human stories. >> if you have an agenda with people, you sometimes don't see the truth. >> "talk to al jazeera". monday, 6:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
i'm joie chen, and on this week's talk to al jazeera, i'm joined by chocolate taster angus kennedy. >> so what do we have here, angus? it's a plate with two different kinds of chocolate? >> yeah, we got two types of chocolate here, they're sort of-- this is called kind of low-end chocolate, you know, mass produced-- quite high sugar content. and then you've got kind of a high-end more luxury type chocolate. >> and how do i tell the difference? >> well, it's called a snap test. it's quite simple. you-- you literally take a piece of-- of chocolate and you break it and you listen. it's-- it's (laugh) that simple. >> what chocolate do i do--.
>> and--. >> --so this would be? >> so if-- this would-- this would be sort of your more low-end, so if-- if you kind of break a bit off, it's not gonna make so much of a click. >> it really makes no noise at all. >> it-- no, it-- no, it doesn't. and-- and if you-- if you take the different bar ... >> definitely makes a snap. >> really does. >> defitely does. >> but then if-- if-- if everything is 70% cocoa, right, 'cause now they advertise that in the store, if everything is 70%, is it all the same? >> well, yeah but that-- (clears throat) that's really clever 'cause what they can do is they-- they can say 70% cocoa powder but very low cocoa (laugh) butter. so it's-- they can do lots of things, so it's-- it's--. >> marketing is very clever. >> when i go to the store and i see candy bar, what does that mean? >> if-- if--. >> it's not chocolate? >> no, if-- if-- if someone says candy bar, and it looks like a chocolate bar, it means legally, they're not allowed to
say it's a chocolate bar because it's got no cocoa butter in it. so-- so they have to call it a candy 'cause it's not chocolate. it's-- it's a legal thing. [[joie]] he's eaten chocolate from all around the world. next on talk to al jazeera angus kennedy tells us about the latest and strangest in chocolate trends.
>> who is in charge, and are they going to be held to accout? >> but know we're following the research team into the fire >> they're learning how to practice democracy... >> ...just seen tear gas being thrown... >> ...glad sombody care about us man... >> several human workers were kidnapped... >> this is what's left of the hospital >> is a crime that's under reported... >> what do you think... >> we're making history right now... >> al jazeera america welcome back to talk to al jazeera. i'm joie chen. with me this week is renowned chocolate expert angus kennedy. >> when we're walking through the factory looking at this vat, i mean, this is sort of the-- this is-- this is the centerpiece of chocolate, right, this is-- this is--. >> it's kind of death by chocolate almost, isn't it.
>> the cosmic swirl of the universe in chocolate. >> yes. yeah, i-- yeah, 'cause what they do is they-- they get this chocolate and they mix it up, they-- they temper it for a little bit, that-- that's actually what it's called. and-- every choc-- every chocolate factory will have these, you know, huge vats of chocolate. and it really is quite mes--. >> this is like veruca salt, or who-- no, who is it that fell into the-- the vat-- but in any case, so-- it's-- it's a charlie (laugh) character. >> yeah, it is, yeah-- yeah, so-- yeah-- it's-- it's-- but-- but it-- but it's almost meditational, when you-- when you look inside this thing, it's like, wow, look at that, and the smell, the chocolate, you know, it's just amazing. and-- you know, it--. >> you don't ever get sick of that. >> no. no, 'cause-- 'cause, like-- i just know when i'm approaching a chocolate factory, you can smell them. it's like this, (makes noise) oh, here we go, right, not-- not far now, you know. and-- (laugh) you know, some factories you really can smell miles away, you know, like thorn-- like, big-- big factories in the uk and spain and stuff, you sort of, yeah, we're getting close, can't be far now. >> people put an awful lot of odd things into their chocolate. i'm seeing more things now like, peppers, or tea as you
mentioned, but also bugs? >> oh, yeah-- yeah, i mean-- it's-- it's-- anything that creates a reaction is good for a business. so i know-- i know of a particular company in austria and they'll put in, like, fish, bits of pig, and, you know--. >> bits of pig? >> yeah, well that-- they-- that-- that's how they call it. but-- well, the guy used to have a pig farm so he-- he-- he used to feed them bits of chocolate but now he puts the pigs in the chocolate so it's a kinda weird story. but-- but that's just an example of some of the things he puts in it. he has fish flavor, but some of the more interesting ones are ants-- scorpions, insects is getting quite big, top london restaurants are really into insects. >> and it's-- well, it-- it's actually a very sensible way of eating protein so there's nothing inherently wrong with eating insects, it's just kind of, you know. i-- i've tried them actually, chocolate covered locusts and i've even made them. i've made them myself. so you get these locusts, you can buy them frozen, you fry 'em up in caramel and then-- (laugh) and then you coat 'em in
chocolate. >> do you have a favorite chocolate? >> i do, actually. i've-- i've got-- the chocolate that i like is a chocolate that my children make at christmas 'cause i've got five children and-- we-- we-- 'cause i get lots of chocolate with-- we-- we get industrial chocolate, we've got a little tempering machine, so we've got this, like, christmas kitchen and we throw-- they just throw in bits of raisins and brandy and bubblegum, doesn't matter. sometimes you just see-- there's a three year old, so he might throw something in there you don't (laugh) quite want to eat. but just the way they say, "dad, happy christmas, i love you," it's just like, oh, my god, (claps) they just hit me up here hard and, you know. so it's just-- just for-- for me, it's like-- like these people here, they love what they do and it-- you can almost taste that energy that they put into chocolate, whereas it-- it's that-- it's that element of-- of hard work and love that goes into manufacturing something that you can almost pick up on.
>> talk about your family a bit. (laugh) you have five kids? >> when i met my wife, she sort of-- she thought i was quite cool, you know, it's like, loads of free chocolates and, (bang) you know. >> so you-- you know, and i've got this kind of philosophy that man plans, god loves, so the more you plan, the more you're going to be derailed from what you're planning. so i-- at one point, i just thought, well, i don't really want kids and i was 36 years old. and now look at me, i've got five kids and it's, like, life's crazy. but they're beautiful. they're-- the youngest is three, so he's always trying to kill the sausage dog, and the eldest is, like, 16 and i have to get an appointment to talk to her because she's, like, teenager, you know. but-- hopefully if i go back with some--. >> and do they--. >> --chocolates and--. >> do they-- do they all love chocolate? do they all love the family business? >> yeah, they do. yeah, they-- they really do. >> images matter. >> innovative filmmaker, spike lee - on his controversial new movie. >> the southwest side of chicago is a war zone. >> taking on the critics. >> and another thing... a lot of the people have not seen the film.